MY SON

I once wrote a book of verse all about the Vietnam War–a book I hope to get published again someday soon.  Well, a few poems therein were and are slightly controversial, like this selection herewith.  But no matter what side of any political or philosophical issue you may be on my poem herewith, it was written for those who were the parents of a son.  Anyway, a little controversy is good now and then.  It thwarts boredom, inflexibility, narrowmindedness and of course the ever-worrisome problem of complacency.  🙂
 
Have a great non-complacent Tuesday!
 
Patrick The Poet 
 

MY SON

They stole him from me to send him off to war,
And there he stayed to fight and die till it was done.
It's bad when governments steal sons from you,
And he was my son.
They said this war had to be fought
And that it was for a just and noble cause.
So, since I was patriotic and voted for them,
I stood by their laws.
But it always seems to be the young who go
And against whom the scales of death are swung.
It's bad when governments send young men off to die,
And my son was young.

For what matters to them of a million deaths
When war is the tender of life they promote?
You can be sure when their reelection comes up,
They won't get my vote!
For the enemy is now my chosen leader,
The enemy called peace that all governments abhor!
And you can be sure they won't get any more of my sons,
Till they end all war.
Oh, they may think they can get away with murder
And do any damn thing they feel must be done,
But they won't take what I love away from me again,
And I loved my son.

GARDENS OF MEMORIES

Just as an actual garden can be full of hundreds and even thousands of precious flowers of so many different kinds and variety, so is the humand mind a garden of sorts–a garden of hundreds of thousands of memories.  And they are memories of every kind and variety.  They are memories mostly of what is worth remembering and mean the most to you–the memories of love and happiness and beauty and joy, things that are positive and bring a smile to your face and put a longing in your heart.  All this is what this poem of mine is about–all the gardens and memories we poor humans plant and harvest and cannot forget.  But somehow often must learn to say goodbye to.  That also is part of having a garden and sowing lots of memories: knowing when to say goodbye to the living past and living things that now make up your gardens of memories.

 

GARDENS OF MEMORIES
 
I know it’s time to go to sleep.
I know it’s time to shut out light.
And now because all hope is gone,
I know it’s time to say goodnight.
Winter has filled this empty room,
Though our hearts are still young with spring.
And while life may live somewhere near,
I know death touches everything.
 
For there are flowers unwatered.
And gardens that lie unplanted.
Pity the dreams that lived unreached!
And those who take love for granted.
Soon, mine shall be but memories,
And the past to keep me going.
As for these flowers and gardens,
Bitterness prevents from sowing!
 
So no gardener shall I be,
Who sought words to sow and flourish.
For there is life from hate of death
Which no words of love can nourish.
Reality is the harsh curve,
Like the earth curves around the sun;
For love makes of us poor poets
Who see hope gone, but never done!
 
So let fantasy cast its net,
Like clouds that encircle the wind.
For poets are hopeless dreamers
Who dare think life should never end.
And though I listen to your heart,
As I would listen to my own,
Were it I could die forever…
Before my heart should beat alone!
 
So I pray for the Hereafter.
I pray with kisses soft and sweet.
I pray for hope and salvation,
And for reality’s defeat!
But there is only winter here,
And the closing of eyes and breath.
There is no springtime of hope here.
Only gardens harvesting death.
 
So I kiss the cold lips of it.
I kiss the eyelids of your eyes.
I kiss gardens of memories,
And shall till every flower dies!
Then I pray again to Heaven.
I pray you will know its reward.
I pray that God is merciful…
And His mercy may sheathe death’s sword.
 

DETERMINISM

As everyone knows only too well, Monday sinks.  And it is the most annoying, aggravating, and stressful day of the week.  It can downright lead to a serious case of temporary insanity, outright terror, or abject depression.  Because of this, I wish to provide my permanent cure to Monday–a pep talk of a poem I wrote many years ago.  While I didn’t have Monday in mind when I wrote it, I think it can serve a nice remedy for every future Monday any and all of us have to face in the weeks and years that lay ahead. 

So if you enjoy my pep talk of a poem and it should help you make it through today, don’t hesitate to drop me a note here and tell me your success story.  Success story…that’s another thing we don’t have nearly enough of in this life.  Especially on Monday!

DETERMINISM

                  1
The moon may cry that you are a hapless lover
and there is not one passion worth living for:
every flower that grows is doomed to wilt,
every light that glows is destined to fade,
and every love, ever real, will gradually deteriorate.
Nevertheless, I cry unto you and only you
to love on long and strong and true
and never relinquish your passion!
Even if you defy love,
you will acquire love!
Even if you denounce love,
you will inspire love!
Even if you resist,
you yield. 
                  2
The sun may cite that you are a hopeless dreamer
and there is not one vision worth striving for:
every radiance of youth is squandered on the young,
every brilliance of wisdom is wasted on the old,
and every dream, ever dreamt, will cynically evaporate.
Nevertheless, I cite unto you and only you
to dream on great and straight and true
and never surrender your dream!
Even if your idea is reviled,
it will remain invincible!
Even if your vision is defiled,
it will remain indomitable!
Even if you fail,
you succeed. 
                  3
The stars may claim that you are a faceless hero
and there is not one cause worth fighting for:
every valiant soul is tarnished by despair and doubt,
every gallant goal is ruined by treachery and treason,
and every heart, ever brave, will tragically capitulate.
Nevertheless, I claim unto you and only you
to fight on proud and loud and true
and never betray the cause!
Even if the battle is lost,
you may triumph another day!
Even if you stand alone,
no power can stand in your way!
Even if you lose,
you win.
                  4
And the world may charge you are an useless philosopher,
that there is not one conviction worth dying for:
every profound concept is corrupted by pessimism and hate,
every renowned belief is tainted by skepticism and fear,
and every truth, ever true, will eventually disintegrate.
Nevertheless, I charge unto you and only you
to reason on requited and excited and new
and never forsake your determinism!
Even when the mind is suppressed,
it will transcend the physical cosmos!
Even when the spirit is repressed,
it will ascend the spiritual universe!
Even when you die,
you live.
 

 

SACRED ART

There is what some would call the art of love, that at its best it requires a true artist’s knowledge and talent, especially that which resides in a poet’s heart.  I speak of such love as something sacred and beyond mere passion or libido.  I might explain it further herewith.  But prose falls often short of explaining certain things that only poetry should and can properly address.  So I will leave you with a poem, which I trust more than adequately describes and expresses what a poet naturally should.


SACRED ART

I have seen your eyes so sad and teary,
And know your heart has been broken in two.
For one can grow tired of love, and weary,
When loneliness becomes all you can do.

Yet love that’s lived before can live again,
Just like the sky can turn from gray to blue.
Any lover’s heart can be entered in
Who never loved wisely but always true!

For sure, when the bold are favored by Fate
And love lives beyond the strong and lucky,
To each in this world there is a soul mate
Who find themselves as the waves do the sea!

For down through the ages I have watched you
And have waited till you would be ready
To desire again the love that is true,
And when you found it–that it would be me!

For I have also grown tired and weary
And seen my heart broken more times than not;
To find the lips of love cold and dreary,
Or like the desert sand–barren and hot!

But just when you’re feeling sad and jaded
And thinking love has gone and passed you by,
Just when it seems your best hope has faded
And your last chance at love is soon to die,

Just then…will I take my lost, broken heart
And once more grant the gods of love their due.
Then strive again to grasp this sacred art;
And when I find love…I pray it is you!

Warm, Sunny Days

Today is not one of these warm, sunny days I love to enjoy every spring and summer, but it actually warmed up a little bit here in southern California that none of us living in this neck of the woods should complain.  I lament, however, all those who live in Iceland and Greenland and the North and South Poles who almost never experience warm, sunny days, although cold, sunny days I am sure they really are used to! 

Then there are those warm, sunny days that live in your heart–the ones you especially remember from sharing special moments with someone you love.  It’s sad, though, when you can’t find someone to share a warm, sunny day with, or you’re with someone you love who doesn’t appreciate warm, sunny days nor the warmth of love in your heart.  This poem here is about that.  It’s an experience I can remember only too well…that can turn warm, sunny days into cold ones.  You know?  If you don’t, I hope you never have to.

WARM, SUNNY DAYS 

When you live long enough you wonder about things:
What happened to love and every beautiful day?
What became of all the lovely summers and springs?
You held love in your hand, how did it slip away?
 
What were the words said or those I should have spoken?
Or that one simple truth which love should never speak?
(That leaves a heart feeling hurt or even broken,
And transforms summer to winter, and bright to bleak?)
 
Were it I could travel to a warm, sunny isle
And pretend the past was the place where I should be,
I would cherish all the days when I made you smile,
And you felt so warm and sunny being with me.
 
But I guess there’s no use in leaving or going,
Although winter is not a place I fear to stay.
Besides, here inside my heart it’s always snowing,
And you never liked warm, sunny days, anyway.

“The Voice”

There might be but a handful of famous singers and male vocalists to whom I would confer the title, “The Voice.” Roy Orbison is definitely one of them, with a remarkable singing voice and vocal range off the charts. And a master at singing (and writing!) torch songs. Here’s one that perhaps many of you have never heard before. Goodness, it’s a beaut, and I can’t imagine listening to anyone other than Roy Orbison singing it. What would be the point?

LINK TO SONG: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eohOfg5F1o&feature=fvwrel

LYRICS TO SONG HEREIN BELOW:

Artist: Orbison Roy
Song: The Comedians
Album: The Essential Roy Orbison

I sat there alone upon the ferris wheel
A pastel colored carriage in the air
I thought you’d leave me dangling for a little while
A silly twist upon a childish dare

Below I saw you whispering to another man
Who held the lever that could bring me down
He’d stop the world from turning at your command
It’s always something cruel that laughter drowns

And I’m up while the dawn is breaking
Even though my heart is aching
I should be drinking a toast to absent friends
Instead of these comedians

I can hardly hear the music from the carousel
The wind picks up, the carriage starts to sway
As one by one the lights go out, it’s closing time
I see you take his hand and walk away, walk away

They say that you will always be the last to know
They say that all that glitters is not gold
It’s not just that you’re never coming back to me
It’s the bitter way that I was told

And I’m up while the dawn is breaking
Even though my heart is aching
I should be drinking a toast to absent friends
Instead of these comedians

 

You Should…

‘Tis the ultimate holiday season, the one for which everyone always intones: “Goodwill to all people [men],” and the time to be especially caring and compassionate and charitable.  Three Big Cs are these three special words.  Add the Big L word (love) and the Big F word (friendship) to them and you pretty much have cornered the market on what the Christmas season is supposed to imbue–along with the fact that it was and is the birthday of this guy who was a prophet who lived some two thousand years ago and who many believe was and is “the” son of God.   

Keeping it all in prospective and of course desirous of avoiding unnecessary controversy, I have no problem celebrating the whole holiday season and December 25th for all these sentiments and good meanings, especially in consideration of the Big L word and that gentle prophet who, no matter what you believe or say, was a man of love and peace.  In any event, here is a poem I wrote a few years ago that accentuates some of these goodwill to all people qualities, I do believe.  I hope they are qualities you share and this is a poem you enjoy reading.  And of course, you experience a wonderful Christmas!

 

YOU SHOULD

It doesn’t matter if your heart is misunderstood
Or if the love you give others does not outlive them.
Though you have been cheated and betrayed and seen no good,
When someone begs for forgiveness–you should forgive them.

And it doesn’t matter if your heart feels misbegotten,
Or if the love you give others is years above them.
Though you have been lost and deserted and forgotten,
When someone prays and pleads to be loved–you should love them.

Friendship Is Sometimes As Wonderful As Love…

Someday you may reach a place or time where you may find yourself without love or out of love.  And maybe even without any hope or opportunity of finding love ever again.  During such times it can be worth a lot just to have a friend, or friends who you consider loyal and true.  Or maybe sometimes it can be enough just to love someone from a distance and be their friend without them ever knowing it.  If you can give kindness or friendship without expecting reward, that can be a refreshing and unique experience.  Being able to carry the secret with you can be a kind of strength and confidence few ever know in this life. 

However, you can love someone but never win their heart, and have to learn to live with this, as long as it doesn’t make you sour on love or into a pessimist.  The important thing is not to give up on love and learn to cherish friendship not only when you are bereft of love but also for always.  For you can keep friendship for a whole lifetime.  Not always true for love.  But certainly if you never give up and remain loyal to your search, love is something that can always come your way when you least expect.  For it is something worth waiting for and always worth knowing. 

A LONELY SEA

Now when you put your loving arms around me
Remember to hold on and never let go.
For I’ve been adrift upon a lonely sea
And love is a thing I thought I’d never know.

For the world is such a cold and heartless place
Where even the strongest can barely survive.
And though yours is a very fragile embrace,
It is more than enough to keep me alive.

For I will never keep you away from me
Nor hold on because my heart cannot let go.
I’ll keep you because I hate the lonely sea
And love is a thing I thought I’d never know.

 

A Perfect Day: Embrace the Intangible

Life is filled with both certainty and uncertainty.  Likewise, it is rife with what you know to be true and with what you doubt and cannot trust.  However, there are some things you cannot know through touch and sight and the other senses, at least not in terms of it being solid and having substance and material weight and form.  There are things you can know and feel through thought and emotion, but they hold no tangible dimension and cannot be boxed or jarred or carried inside one’s pocket.  On the other hand, these intangibles can be kept and stored inside one’s heart and mind and made as real as anything that does contain solidity and substance. 

What are these intangibles?  There are many: truth, justice, honor, integrity, trust, hope, faith, loyalty, desire, and love, just to name a few.  But regardless these intangibles may lack weight and substance they are nonetheless as solid and substantial as anything in the physical universe.  In fact, I believe most these qualities are even more solid and substantial than physical objects.  Especially love.  It may be the most solid substance in the entire universe.  Indestructible, too.  I present my ultimate contention via poetry, as follows:

 

A PERFECT DAY

The sun was shining–for the rain stopped and stole away.
But the wind kept blowing and left wind-swept trees unfurled!
They saw our presence…and demanded our souls to stay
And pay attention…while the day perfected the world!

Therefore, we spent it with the sea that greeted the shore.
Then listened to the sun and surf…and to lilting birds!
And we felt like forever…would last forever more.
With the smile inside our hearts that spoke a thousand words!

For might evening arrive and hurry us from our joy?
Or would we know to stay and not let time steal away?
No matter!–although there is much that life can destroy,
It won’t be the perfect love we felt this perfect day.

Buy This Book – Read Beautiful Poetry!

If you appreciate beautiful, profound poetry and writing that is clever and stimulating then you should definitely obtain a copy of “Triplicity: Poems in Threes” the newest book of verse by acclaimed poet Kristen McHenry. Visit this link to read about Kristen and a tasty sampling from Triplicity–an amazing poem about Star Trek’s Mr. Spock! Visit here to also obtain your personal copy of Kristen’s remarkable tome: http://www.indigoinkpress.org/books/authors/kristen-mchenry/. This book is definitely a keeper!

www.indigoinkpress.org

Kristen McHenry is a resident of Seattle, Wash., and is a poet by night, non-profit program manager by day. She has her bachelor’s degree in theatre arts and filmmaking from The Evergreen State College. Among other publications, her work has been seen in Bare Root Review, Numinous Magazine, Tiferet …

Previous Older Entries